Facing Failure with Authenticity and Kindness

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Uh oh. I said it. The F word. Failure. 

I talk about the fear of it, overcoming it, but I realized just now as I was sitting here watching re-runs of The Office (Jim and Pam forever), that I never talk about what I do when it happens. How do I process it? How do I move forward? 

The very real reality that I have experienced is that often in the yoga world teachers are afraid to talk about anything negative. I do understand this because as guides in a class we are responsible for shifting moods and setting tones. Talking about failure as a reality you experience is generally not a great way to make the class feel uplifted. 

Well I'm here to say screw it. Lets talk about it. 

If you've followed any part of this yoga journey of mine, you likely know that I will always stay authentic and honest. If I'm having a bad week or day, you'll probably hear about it. Just like you'll hear about the good days!

Well this week I didn't bring it up in class and that felt wrong. I had a really crummy failure on Saturday that straight up knocked me down. I had been planning a business workshop that didn't go as expected and the event had to be rescheduled. I had put myself out there and what I was reaching for didn't work out. I definitely sat on my couch for a few hours and had a pity party. I watched way too many netflix reruns and ate cheetos. 

When I came out of my cheeto stained pity party, I talked to my husband and confessed that it felt like maybe what I was doing wasn't the right path. Maybe I made a mistake and I tried to take on too much. I should go back to the drawing board and see if this is even what I'm meant to be doing. Mind you, I walked away from a really decent corporate job a few months ago so admitting this felt like a dagger to the heart. 

My husband, being the amazing soul that he is reminded me of my very first yoga class (photo at the bottom). This class happened in September 2017, long before many of you reading this had ever met me. I decided to host a yoga class on the cliffs to get my feet wet teaching yoga. I invited everyone I could think of, texted friends and neighbors, and still couldn't shake the nerves and thoughts that no one would show up. When the time came to teach I had 8 friends show up. And I decided to get real with them about my intention for the class.

"If you aren't screwing up, you aren't trying hard enough."

So uplifting and woo woo right? Hahaha no its not, that's a ridiculous intention but it was honest. And that's what this blog is really about. Failure isn't a dirty word. Failure is a word that means that someone took a giant leap outside of what was comfortable and tried. Trying to succeed is the one thing that many people DON'T do. In trying you've already done more than half the people wishing they could do what you're doing. Remembering that was what allowed me to be kind to myself. Authentic real words. 

Am I sad that the event didn't work out and I "failed", heck yes I am! Am I going to let it keep me down and keep me from planning another one? Definitely not. 

And that right there is the difference.

Talk about your failures. It's ok to show the highlight reel most of the time but let people know what you tried that didn't work out, and what you learned from it. What did I learn from Saturday? I learned that there are people that want to share my knowledge but that the way I deliver it needs some tweaking. To me that sounds like a pretty valuable lesson. 

Put your self out there. Fail. Put yourself out there and fail again. Keep failing until you don't. That's how success stories are made. When you see someone successful telling you how easy it is, don't buy it. That will make your own failures seem even bigger than they are. I promise you from the deepest part of my heart that every single successful person on this planet has failed more than they've succeeded but they kept going instead of watching Netflix and eating cheetos forever. 

So anyway. I feel better now that I was authentic about this. You all deserve to have open and honest relationships with teachers so I will always do my best to be that person. 

I am putting myself out there again to end this blog post to let you guys know about my retreat in February in Colorado. The Yoga and Ski retreat is my first ever retreat and to be honest it scares the crap out of me to step out of my comfort zone again, but here we are! I'd love to have all of you there that are interested in attending. If you'd like more info on signing up follow this link. If you have ideas of places you'd like to see retreats in the future leave me a comment below. 

The only way to really fail, is not to try at all. 

Love you guys :)

My very first Yoga class :)

My very first Yoga class :)




Jackie KowalikComment